Pioneering synth-pop that still cuts the mustard
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The diversity of Bruce Haack’s musical output is breathtaking: ranging from jingles for 60s commercials on American TV to Broadway show tunes. He was also a pioneer of electronic music, creating and crafting songs in a home studio with the same dedication and inventiveness that Kraftwerk deployed in Germany.
This collection brings together Haack’s output from the 70s and is a smouldering cigar of invention. The National Anthem Of The Moon – taken from the famed 1970 LP The Electric Lucifer – sounds like a song by Love at their peak and arranged by French pop duo Air. On the other hand, Maybe This Song is electronic Beach Boy perfection. Most of the vocals are either treated with an early vocoder or shyly-applied, which gives tales of visiting aliens, Lazarus and the worderful Rita a real warmth. Party Machine is taken from the 1978 classic Haakula, and its electronic beat, twanging bass and use of space sets a course for hip-hop and modern electronica. Indeed, Haack is some kind of musical godfather to British synth-pop acts such as Human League and Depeche Mode, as these songs all have human blood pumping through their electronic veins.
Stones Throw | STH 2221
Reviewed by Ian Shirley